Three true crime classics of love, murder, and the mob by a Pulitzer Prize finalist who writes with “honest and gritty realism” (Phoenix Gazette).
Award-winning author Joan Barthel uncovers the dark secrets behind some of the strangest cases in the history of American crime in these three captivating works of “first-class journalism” (The New York Times).
A Death in California: When twice-divorced Beverly Hills socialite Hope Masters fell in love with a handsome advertising executive, she thought her life was finally turning around—until she woke up to find a gun in her mouth and her fiancé dead in the next room. The killer was a new acquaintance who’d been visiting the couple’s Sierra Nevada ranch. Even more bizarre, however, was what happened at the end of the long, nightmarish weekend in which Masters saw everything she cared about destroyed: She began to fall in love with her tormenter. “Superbly documented, brilliantly written. The suspense will keep readers caught to the very last page” (Ann Rule, bestselling author of The Stranger Beside Me).
A Death in Canaan: When eighteen-year-old Peter Reilly arrived home from the Teen Center one night to discover his mother lying naked on the bedroom floor with her throat slashed, local police made him their prime suspect. After eight hours of interrogation and a polygraph test, Reilly confessed. But the townspeople of Canaan, Connecticut, couldn’t believe the naïve teenager was capable of such a gruesome crime. With the help of some celebrities, including Mike Nichols and William Styron, the community rallied to the boy’s defense. Barthel’s “riveting” account of this fascinating and frightening case was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (People).
Love or Honor: Police officer Chris Anastos was happily married and satisfied with his work on the NYPD’s anti-crime unit—until he was asked to go undercover to investigate links between the Italian mob and a Greek criminal network in Queens. For five years he moved back and forth between his comfortable home life and a murky, underground world of wise guys, pimps, and thieves. But when he fell in love with the beautiful, raven-haired daughter of a Long Island capo, Anastos faced his gravest threat yet. “For devotees of cop tales and mob lore . . . Tantalizing” (The New York Times Book Review).
About the author
Joan Barthel is an award-winning author of nonfiction and a contributor to many national publications, including the Washington Post Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. Her first book, A Death in Canaan (1976), uncovered the miscarriage of justice in the case of a Connecticut teenager accused of murdering his mother. It won the American Bar Association Gavel Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and became an Emmy-nominated television movie. A Death in California (1981), the story of a Beverley Hills socialite caught in the thrall of the man who murdered her fiancé, was the basis for a television miniseries. Love or Honor (1989), the extraordinary account of a married undercover cop who infiltrated the Greek mafia only to fall in love with the Capo’s daughter, was called “fascinating” and “compelling” by Nicholas Pileggi. Barthel cowrote Rosemary Clooney’s autobiography, Girl Singer (1999), and is the author of American Saint (2014), a biography of Elizabeth Seton with a foreword by Maya Angelou.
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